Our Story

UNiViDA is a Registered Charity in England and Wales No. 1136742.

our Story

marc on the playground with cbc students

Once upon a time Marcondes (Marc) Marques was a small boy in Fortaleza, Brazil. He grew up with the reality of rich and poor right on his doorstep. Although he came from a middle-class family, Marc’s best friends were from the favelas (slums).

Marc noticed the distinct differences in opportunity available to him compared with his friends. His frustration grew seeing the poverty and discrimination they faced. Not knowing what else to do, Marc used to sneak out of his house with food for his friends. At Christmas time his heart broke as he tried to understand why Father Christmas, gave presents to him but not to his friends.

As a young adult, Marc moved to the United States where he studied Social Science and became director of a Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Virginia. But his real passion was still helping children in Brazil. So after generating support for a trip back to Brazil to document the conditions and lifestyle of street children, he started an orphanage for street boys.

In the 1990s Marc was contacted by Steve Chalke (Oasis Trust), who wanted to bring the plight of street children to the attention of Christians in the UK through a campaign called Christmas Cracker.

In response UK charity, Hand in Hand, was set up to support Crianças do Brasil para Cristo, the Brazilian Association Marc had founded. In 2011 UNiViDA (also a UK registered charity) took over this partnership which continues to thrive and grow.

One of UNiViDA’s primary goals is to share the results and relationships that make the project a success.

To date, this partnership has assisted thousands of children with their education, vocational training, and determination for a better life. With faith in Jesus Christ as his foundation, Marc has dedicated his life to finding effective and sustainable ways to bring opportunity to the poor, releasing their untapped potential through quality education and training. His focus has always been the children, fighting injustice and striving to prevent their suffering.

UNiViDA’s Trustees are Marc Marques, Martin Clements, Jonathan Harris and Ruth Marques – Email office@univida.org for more information.

Link to our page on the Charity Commission Website.

graduate from CBC in Graduation Cap

Our Results

Graduates of the project have become the first in their community ever to finish secondary school and go to University. they have earned degrees and professional qualifications and many have started their own businesses. Some have returned to the project as teachers and many now have families and children of their own.

Our graduates have shown outstanding integrity, determination, and courage often overcoming discrimination because of their background.

We are proud of their leadership skills and their example to today’s students at the project.

UNiViDA Provides

7,000 meals per month
20 hours of education for 240 children per week
Special events for the community